No one's asking Johnny Depp to pursue a boring, traditional Hollywood acting career, but this is just getting ridiculous. The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas star has been cast in three new movies, all of which are silly, "quirky" character parts that will further obscure the man's innate talent behind a curious mask of ticks and inflections, jaunty gaits and syncopated eye blinks. He'll once again Keith Richards it up in another, the fourth, Pirates of the Caribbean movie (to be titled Pirates of the Caribbean: We're All Pulling For This Orlando Bloom Kid, For Some Inexplicable Reason) and then he'll go on to play the Mad Hatter in an Alice In Wonderland movie and Tonto in the Lone Ranger film. He's also been cast as the wicked, brooding, vampiric Barnabas Collins in a movie version of the 1960's Gothic horror campfest TV show Dark Shadows. He's got one film slated, Shantaram, in which he'll actually play, y'know, a real person, but director Mira Nair has had years of trouble trying to get the India-set behemoth off the ground. In the meantime he'll continue disappearing further and further down the proverbial rabbit hole, increasingly becoming the Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro of faux-outre mainstream cinema. They play cops and crooks, he plays fops and kooks. We know this is sacrilege to some, but anyone who thought that Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Depp's Willy Wonka were "warped" or "twisted" or "subversive" should take off their Vans and put on some grownup shoes. Pirates was fun for a while, but the third one played like a drunken Wagner dream ballet and Depp just seemed so tired. He must be! We'd love to see him put on a pair of normal pants and say interesting lines to other adults saying lines about adult things. Just once? Please? Because he's so talented. And this just seems like a silly waste.